Burnley households’ £4,400 bill in wall row

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: The wall (left) on Chestnut Rise, Burnley, which is the subject of the residents’ campaign The wall (left) on Chestnut Rise, Burnley, which is the subject of the residents’ campaign

RESIDENTS in a Burnley street have been asked to find more than £4,400 each as part of a long-running row over a retaining wall.

Lancashire County Council wants to impose the levy on households in Chestnut Rise, off Springfield Road, to settle a £141,714 repair bill.

Now the angry residents are planning a campaign to take over the management company responsible for the wall’s upkeep.

The borough council’s environment director, Jo Turton, said in a report that repairs to the ‘unsafe’ wall were carried out in December 2008 by the authority, more than three years after a notice had been served on Chestnut Rise Management Company Ltd. But despite several invoices being raised with the Essex-based firm, the county council said no cash had been received to cover the debt.

Highways and transport cabinet member Coun John Fillis has now approved a proposal for the 32 homes to make repayments over a 20-year period.

Mrs Turton added: “Residents who are paying towards the expenses of the wall seek not to have their charge levied on their particular property.

“They seem to be unaware that the management company was not passing monies to the county council."

The county council has insisted that it needs to impose the charge to protect its own interests, after repeated efforts to seek recompense from the management company proved to be fruitless.

But engineer Darren Gent, who moved out of the street in 2010, has taken up the fight on residents’ behalf.

He is hoping to take over ownership of the management company and fight the county council’s decision.

He said: “I certainly won’t be paying. In any case, the council only fixed a 10 metre stretch of the wall.

“The other 90 per cent is falling apart. I’m going down to my lawyer today because the woman in charge of the management company is ignoring all of our calls.

“I will fight this all the way.”

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